Jazz scene - with CJ Worsdale

Trumpet star Enrico Tomasso, of Acker Bilk Band fame.
Trumpet star Enrico Tomasso, of Acker Bilk Band fame.

Hearty congratulations to South Yorkshire’s unrivalled champion of New Orleans Jazz, Dave Brennan, whose recent anniversary session, celebrating 50 years as a band leader, I and fellow local jazz avid Ken Lanceley had the pleasure of attending, along with numerous fans and musicians who crammed Rotherham Rugby club to capacity to pay their dues to Dave.

His longevity must surely display more dedication than the late-great entertainer Roy Castle.

Following the opening set by Dave’s own band (including of course long serving original drummer Terry Kennedy), the town’s Vicar conducted ‘grace’ and extended his good wishes before a break for supper, and was joined by the new mayor on his first official engagement before handing over to the guest musicians who were expertly directed into the jam-session-like-fray by multi-reed man Pete Moxon, ensuring a vigorous and well-earned salute to the deserving banjo playing jazz ‘guru’ - long may he continue to fly the flag for New Orleans Jazz!

Remember, you can catch Dave’s Jubilee Jazz Band in regular Wednesday night action at Wickersley’s Three Horse Shoes.

Another well loved jazzman and renowned multi-reed player, Frank Brooker - who performed with George Melly and John Chilton in the London area before moving North to York - brings his popular band The Happy Chappies to Doncaster Conservative Club on Thursday, June 9 for a welcome return gig in the town. As the band’s title implies, patrons of the session can expect a joyful mix of rousing expertly pervade musicianship liberally laced with good-time humour and fun-packed entertainment, guaranteeing that all will head homeward with smiles on their faces afterwards.

Stomp-off is at 8.30pm and admission at the door is £5.

Bringing the current ‘Jazz into Doncaster’ season of ‘Con’ Club concerts to a close on Thursday, June 23 will be a ‘Special’ in conjunction with the former Lodge Jazz Club’s promoter John Sheppard. It will feature star trumpeter Enrico Tomasso - who was last in town with Acker Bilk’s Band at the Civic and who was recently voted second Best in the trumpet section of The BBC Jazz Awards, only pipped at the post by Guy Barker!

Enrico will be joining his formidable virtuosity with the dynamic sounds of trombonist Eugene Farrar’s impressive band. Advance tickets are available at The Blue Building on High Street at £6 (or pay £7 at the door). A bumper crowd is anticipated for this highlight gig, so advice is to book early to avoid disappointment!

Also set for their monthly ‘Monday Date’ at the ‘Con’ Club are piano virtuoso ‘Spraggy & Co’ - on June 13. The action begins at 8.30pm/admission £3-50 at the door.

Expected to offer several finely honed and swingin’ vocal contributions are Messrs Eddie Kell and Bob Quinn and the delightful songstress Sue Nixon, and news is that local treasure Dickie Emmerson will be making his eagerly awaited triumphant return to his ‘happy-stompin-ground’ at the session, much to the delight of his ardent followers. Welcome back Dickie!

Barnsley Jazz at Silkstone Lodge presents Peter Franks’ Dixieland All-stars on June 6; Paul Harrison Band, June 13; Yorkshire Stompers, June 20; Millennium Eagles Jazz Band, June 27. Contact them on 01226 281805 for further info.

The Knights of Jazz (regularly featuring reed-men Gerry Nugent, Pete Moxon and Graham Galtrey) are at The Butcher’s Arms in Braithwell each Monday evening and The Silver Leaf Jazz Band play The Strafford Arms in Stainborough, near Barnsley every Wednesday. Telephone 01226 751989 for details.

Happy jazzin’!